A SUFFOLK pub seemingly destined to become holiday cottages could be back in business.

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After standing empty for more than a year, The Crown in Great Glemham, near Framlingham, was likely to be converted, unless a buyer could be found.

But, following a campaign to save the pub, a real ale champion is now in the process of securing its future.

The Crown was closed last August and passed into the hands of property investment and private equity firm Bridport Capital Limited.

The company wanted to convert the building into holiday cottages, but director Keith Stout offered villagers the opportunity to buy the former pub for £350,000.

After reading the EADT’s coverage of the village’s plight to save The Crown back in July, Thane Meldrum and his partner Emma Harrington, from near Bungay, expressed their interest in purchasing it, and have now exchanged contracts with Bridport Capital.

Mr Meldrum, a long-standing member of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), said: “This is great - we can’t wait to get down to work.

“The structure of the building is still very good, but after a year of closure, it needs some work inside.

“We hope to keep the pub much the same as it was. We’’ introduce some new furniture but try to make it as traditional as possible.”

Once the deal in completed next month, The Crown will be run as a free house, selling real ales and food. It could then be reopened as early as spring next year.

Mr Meldrum, who is self-employed working in antiques restoration, said: “It has been a very successful pub in the past and we want to make it a success again.

“It’s very much a community pub and we’ve had some touching messages of support from the village. Some have offered to tidy the place up and help out while we get on our feet.”

Bill Philpot, who was among those campaigning to save the The Crown, said: “The village is pleased and all the feedback I have so far received has been very positive.

“It’s a feeling of relief more than anything. People were a bit gloomy and despondent, and not entirely convinced the pub would reopen, but joy really will be unconfined when it does.”

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